« PreviousContinue »
Most wretched men Poets like painters, thus unskill'd to trace Are cradled into poetry by wrong; The naked nature and the living grace,
They learn in suffering what they teach in song. With gold and jewels cover every part,
SHELLEY—Julian and Maddalo. L. 556. And hide with ornaments their want of art. POPE-Essay on Criticism. L. 293.
Dan Chaucer, well of English undefyled,
On Fame's eternall beadroll worthie to be fyled. Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
SPENSER—Faerie Queene. Bk. IV. Canto They had no poet, and they died.
II. St. 32. POPE-Odes of Horace. Bk. IV. · Ode 9.
(See also LYDGATE) Then from the Mint walks forth the man of I learnt life from the poets. rhyme,
MADAME DE STAËL Corinne. Bk. XVIII. Happy to catch me, just at dinner-time.
With no companion but the constant Muse,
Who sought me when I needed her—ah, when Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown,
Did I not need her, solitary else? Just writes to mare his barrenness appear,
R. H. STODDARD-Proem. L. 87. And strains from hard-bound brains eight lines a year.
The Poet in his Art POPE-Prologue to Satires. L. 179.
Must intimate the whole, and say the smallest 5
part. And he whose fustian's so sublimely bad,
W. W. STORY—The Unexpressed.
Then, rising with Aurora's light, 6
The Muse invoked, sit down to write; For pointed satire I would Buckhurst choose,
Blot out, correct, insert, refine, The best good man with the worst-natured muse.
Enlarge, diminish, interline. EARL OF ROCHESTER. An allusion to HORACE SWIFT—On Poetry. -Satire X. Bk. 1.
(See also LYTTLETON, WALLER)
Unjustly poets we asperse:
And all the fictions they pursue Greece boasts her Homer, Rome can Virgil Do but insinuate what is true. claim;
Villon, our sad bad glad mad brother's name. (See also DRYDEN)
SWINBURNE-Ballad of François Villon.
To have read the greatest works of any great
poet, to have beheld or heard the greatest For the vain tribute of a smile.
works of any great painter or musician, is a Scom_Lay of the Last Minstrel. Canto IV. possession added to the best things of life. Last stanza.
SWINBURNE—Essays and Studies. Victor Hugo.
22 Call it not vain:—they do not err, Who say that, when the Poet dies,
The Poet's leaves are gathered one by one, Mute Nature mourns her worshipper,
In the slow process of the doubtful years. And celebrates his obsequies.
BAYARD TAYLOR—Poet's Journal. Third Even
ing. Scorr—Lay of the Last Minstrel. Canto V. St. 1.
I do but sing because I must, I would the gods had made thee poetical.
And pipe but as the linnets sing. As You Like It. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 15.
TENNYSON—In Memoriam. XXI. 6. 11
(See also LAMARTINE) Never durst poet touch a pen to write
24 Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs.
The poet in a golden clime was born, Love's Labour's Lost. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 346.
With golden stars above; 12
Dower'd with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn, The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
The love of love. Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth TENNYSON—The Poet. to heaven;
25 And as imagination bodies forth
For now the Poet cannot die,
Begins the scandal and the cry.
Letters. St. 4.
A bard here dwelt, more fat than bard becomes
POISON Who void of envy, guile and lust of gain, What's one man's poison, signior, On virtue still and nature's pleasing themes Is another's meat or drink. Poured forth his unpremeditated strain.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER—Love's Cure. Act THOMSON—Castle of Indolence. Canto I. St. III. Sc. 2. Same in LUCRETIUS. IV. 627.
68. (Last line said to be "writ by a friend
of the author.") 2
Vipera Cappadocem nocitura mormordit; at Poets lose half the praise they should have got,
illa Ĝustato perit sanguine Caj padocis. Could it be known what they discreetly blot. A deadly echidna once bit a Cappadocian; EDMUND WALLER—Miscellanies. Upon the she herself died, having tasted the Poison
EARL OF ROSCOMMON'S Translation of flinging blood.
DEMODOCUS. Trans. of his Greek Epigram. (See also SWIFT)
(See also GOLDSMITH, WOLCOT) God, eldest of Poets. WILLIAM WATSON–England, my England.
Un gros serpent mordit Aurèle.
Que croyez-vous qu'il arriva?
Qu' Aurèle en mourut? Bagatelle!
Ce fut le serpent qui creva.
In a MS. commonplace book, written probably
at end of 18th Cen. See Motes and Queries. Sighs";
March 30, 1907. P. 246. Same attributed And on it crossed to immortality.
to Manalin Eks-Nat. ad Loc. II. 421. WILLIAM WATSON–Hood. Threadbare his songs seem now,
to lettered ken: Hier auprès de Charenton They were worn threadbare next the hearts of Un serpent morait Jean Fréron,
Que croyez-vous qu'il arriva? WILLIAM WATSON-Longfellow.
Ce fut le serpent qui creva.
Imitation from the Greek. Found also in A dreamer of the common dreams,
Euvres Complèts de VOLTAIRE. III. P. A fisher in familiar streams,
1002. (1817) Printed as VOLTAIRE's; atHe chased the transitory gleams
tributed to PIRON; claimed for FRÉRON. That all pursue; But on his lips the eternal themes Again were new.
The man recover'd of the bite, WILLIAM WATSON—The Tomb of Burns.
The dog it was that died. 7
GOLDSMITH–Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog. It was Homer who inspired the poet.
Same idea in MANASSES— Fragmenta. Ed. WAYLAND-The Iliad and the Bible.
BOISSONADE. I. 323. (1819)
(See also DEMODOCUS) In Spring the Poet is glad, And in Summer the Poet is gay;
While Fell was reposing himself in the hay, But in Autumn the Poet is sad,
A reptile concealed bit his leg as he lay; And has something sad to say.
But, all venom hin.self, of the wound he made BYRON FORCEYTHE WILLSON—Autumn Song.
And got well, while the scorpion died of the bite. That mighty orb of song,
LESSING—Paraphrase of Demodocus. The divine Milton.
(See also DEMODOCUS) WORDSWORTH-Excursion. Bk. I. L. 252.
All men carry about them that which is povAnd, when a damp
son to serpents: for if it be true that is reportea, Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
they will no better abide the touching with man's The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew spittle than scalding water cast upon them: but Soul-animating strains,--alas! too few.
if it happen to light within their chawes or mouth, WORDSWORTH-Miscellaneous Sonnets. Pt. II. especially if it come from a man that is fasting, Scorn not the Sonnet.
it is present death.
PLINY—Natural History. Bk. VII. Ch. II. Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,
In gährend Drachengift hast du
To rankling poison hast thou turned in me 12
the milk of human kindness. I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy, SCHILLER--Wilhelm Tell. IV. 3. 3.
The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride;
Following his plough, along the mountain side. Venenum in auro bibitur.
SENECA—Thyestes. Act III. 453.
Let me have
Familiar as his garter: that, when he speaks, And that the trunk may be discharg'd of breath
The air, a charter'd libertine, is still.
Henry V. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 45.
To beguile the time,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent Talk no more of the lucky escape of the head
flower, I'rom a flint so unhappily thrown;
But be the serpent under 't. I think very different from thousands; indeed
Macbeth. Act I. Sc. 5. L. 65. 'Twas a lucky escape for the stone. Wolcot (Peter Pindar). On a Stone thrown
We shall not I believe, be obliged to alter our at GEORGE III. (See also GOLDSMITH)
policy of watchful waiting.
2, 1913. Alluding to Mexico.
WOODROW WILSON—Message to Congress. offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. Dec. 7, 1915. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again; and when the POLITICS (See also GOVERNMENT, hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but
STATESMANSHIP) said, “If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill."
I consider biennial elections as a security that Bacon—Essays. Of Boldness.
the sober, second thought of the people shall be law.
FISHER AMES—Speech. Jan., 1788. Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle.
17 BURKE-Reflections on the Revolution in France. Man is by nature a civic animal.
ARISTOTLE—Polit. I. 2. Like Æsop's fox, when he had lost his tail, would have all his fellow foxes cut off theirs. All political parties die at last of swallowing BURTON—Anatomy of Melancholy. Democritus
their own lies. to the Reader.
Attributed to JOHN ARBUTHNOT, M.D. In
“Life of Emerson." P. 165. They had best not stir the rice, though it sticks to the pot.
Listen! John A. Logan is the Head Centre, CERVANTES Don Quixote. Pt. II. Ch.
the Hub, the King Pin, the Main Spring, Mogul, XXXVII.
and Mugwump of the final plot by which parti
sanship was installed in the Commission. It is better to walk than to run; it is better to
Isaac H. BROMLEY-Editorial in the New stand than to walk; it is better to sit than to
York Tribune. Feb. 16, 1877. stand; it is better to lie than to sit.
(See also PORTER) Hindu Proverb.
It is necessary that I should qualify the docDon't throw a monkey-wrench into the ma
trine of its being not men, but measures, that I chinery.
am determined to support. In a monarchy it is PHILANDER JOHNSON. See Everybody's Maga the duty of parliament to look at the men as well zine. May, 1920. P. 36.
as at the measures.
LORD BROUGHAM-In the House of Commons. Masterly inactivity.
Probably from "Strenua inertia.” HORACE
We are Republicans, and don't propose to 10
leave our party and identify ourselves with the When I see a merchant over-polite to his cus party whose antecedents have been Rum, Rotomers, begging them to taste a little brandy manism, and Rebellion. and throwing half his goods on the counter,
SAMUEL D. BURCHARD—One of the Deputathinks I, that man has an axe to grind.
tion visiting Mr. Blaine. Oct. 29, 1884. CHARLES MINER—Who'll turn Grindstones?
Essays from the Desk of Poor Robert the You had that action and counteraction which, Scribe.. In Wilkesbarre Gleaner. (1811) in the natural and in the political world, from
the reciprocal struggle of discordant powers The publick weal requires that a man should draws out the harmony of the universe. betray, and lye, and massacre.
BURKE-Reflexions on the Revolution in France. MONTAIGNE-Essays. Of Profit and Honesty. Vol. III. P. 277.
Party is organized opinion.
Protection and patriotism are reciprocal. CALHOUN-Speech delivered in the House of
Representatives. (1812) Away with the cant of “Measures, not men!". -the idle supposition that it is the harness and not the horses that draw the chariot along. No Sir, if the comparison must be made, if the distinction must be taken, inen are everything, measures comparatively nothing. CANNING—Speech against the Addington Ministry. (1801)
(See also BROUGHAM) The Duty of an Opposition is to oppose. Quoted by RANDOLPH CHURCHILL.
(See also STANLEY) One of the greatest of Romans, when asked what were his politics, replied, "Imperium et libertas." That would not make a bad programme for a British Ministry. RANDOLPH CHURCHILL Speech. Mansion
House, London. Nov. 10, 1879. Here the two great interests IMPERIUM ET LIBERTAS, res olim insociabiles (saith Tacitus), began to incounter each other. ŠIR WINSTON CHURCHILL-Divi Britannici.
P. 849. (1675) Nam ego in ista sum sententia, qua te fuisse semper scio, nihil ut feurit in suffragiis voce melius.
I am of the opinion which you have always held, that "viva voce" voting at elections is the best method. CICERO—De Legibus. III. 15. Philippics.
IV. 4. TACITUS—Agricola. Ch. III.
Principle is ever my motto, no expediency.
(See also CLEVELAND)
phrase "practical politics. 16
All the ten-to-oners were in the rear, and a dark horse, which had never been thought of, and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grand stand in sweeping triumph. BENJ. DISRAELI–The Young Duke. Bk. II. Ch. V.
(See also THACKERAY) 17 Damned Neuters, in their Middle way
of Steering, Are neither Fish, nor Flesh, nor good Red Her
ring. DEYDEN—Duke of Guise. Epilogue. Phrase
used by DR. SMITH. Ballet. Ch. IX. In Musarum Deliciæ.
All political power is a trust.
CHARLES JAMES Fox. (1788)
It is a condition which confronts us—not a theory. GROVER CLEVELAND Annual Message. (1887)
(See also DISRAELI)
He serves his party best who serves the coun Factions among yourselves; preferring such try best.
To offices and honors, as ne'er read RUTHERFORD B. HAYES—Inaugural Address. The elements of saving policy;. March 5, 1877.
But deeply skilled in all the principles
That usher to destruction. The freeman casting, with unpurchased hand, MASSINGER—The Bondman. Act I. Sc. 3. The vote that shakes the turrets of the land.
L. 210. HOLMES—Poetry. A Metrical Essay. L. 83.
Agitate, agitate, agitate. Non ego ventosæ plebis suffragia venor.
LORD MELBOURNE. In TORRENS-Life of I court not the votes of the fickle mob.
Lord Melbourne. Vol. I. P. 320, and in HORACE—Epistles. I. 19. 37.
History of England from Conclu
sion of the Great War. Vol. III. P. 143. Like an armed warrior, like a plumed knight, James G. Blaine marched down the halls of the Every time I fill a vacant office I make ten American Congress and threw his shining lance
malcontents and one ingrate. full and fair against the brazen foreheads of the
MOLIÈRE. Quoting Louis XIV, in Siècle de defamers of his country, and the maligners of
Louis Quatorze. his honor. ROBERT G. INGERSOLL—The Plumed Knight. Those who would treat politics and morality
Speech in nomination of BLAINE for Pres apart will never understand the one or the other. ident in the Republican Convention. John MORLEY-Rousseau. P. 380. Cincinnati, June 15, 1876. (See also PHILLIPS)
Car c'est en famille, ce n'est pas en public,
qu’un lave son linge sale. Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on But it is at home and not in public that one offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
should wash ones dirty linen. THOS. JEFFERSON—Letter to Coxe. (1799) NAPOLEON-On his return from Elba. Speech
to the Legislative Assembly. If a due participation of office is a matter of
(See also VOLTAIRE) right, how are vacancies to be obtained? Those
Better a hundred times an honest and capable by death are few; by resignation, none.
administration of an erroneous policy than a Usually quoted, “Few die and none resign."
corrupt and incapable administration of a good THOS. JEFFERSON—Letter to Elias Shipman and Merchants of New Haven. July 12, 1801.
E. J. PHELPS—At Dinner of the N. Y. Chamber
of Commerce. Nov. 19, 1889. Of the various executive abilities, no one excited more anxious concern than that of placing The White Plume of Navarre. the interests of our fellow-citizens in the hands of Name given to N. Y. Tribune during the Civil honest men, with understanding, sufficient for War. See WENDELL PHILLIPS Under the their stations. No duty is at the same time Flag. Boston, April 21, 1861. more difficult to fulfil. The knowledge of
(See also INGERSOLL) character possessed by a single individual is of necessity limited. To seek out the best through
A weapon that comes down as still the whole Union, we must resort to the informa
As snowflakes fall upon the sod; tion which from the best of men, acting disin
But executes a freeman's will, terestedly and with the purest motives, is some
As lightning does the will of God; times incorrect.
And from its force, nor doors nor locks THOS. JEFFERSON—Letter to Elias Shipman
Can shield you; 'tis the ballot-box. and Merchants of New Haven. July 12, 1801.
PIERPONT-A Word from a Petitioner. Paraphrased, "Put the right man in the right place” by MCMASTER-History of the
Party-spirit, which at best is but the madness People of the U.S. Vol. II. P. 586.
of many, for the gain of a few.
POPE—Letter to Blount. Aug. 27, 1714.
Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
And totter on in business to the last. construction.” August, 1866.
POPE-Moral Essays. Ep. I. L. 228.
Party is the madness of many for the gain of a few.
Pope in Thoughts on Various Subjects, written Skilled to pull wires he baffles nature's hope, by Swift and POPE. Evidence in favor of who sure intended him to stretch a rope.
Pope. LOWELL-The Boss. (Tweed.)
A mugwump is a person educated beyond his Free trade, one of the greatest blessings intellect. which a government can confer on a people, HORACE PORTER—A Bon-Mot in Clevelandis in almost every country unpopular.
Blaine Campaign. (1884) MACAULAY-On Mitford's History of Greece.
(See also BROMLEY)